1976 Film About AT&T Switching System at World Trade Center

“The Twins” is a 1976 film by Western Electric about the AT&T switching system at the World Trade Center.

A short film about the building of the World Trade Center AND the telephony challenges the construction posed. The Bell System had installed a #1ESS Western Electric central office switching system within the towers. There are plenty of shots of the Towers being built, and then filled by companies, back in the 1970s.

After 9/11, it was reported that one of the few things to survive the WTC attacks was AT&T’s switching system, which was good because many people relied on the mainframe for their telephone connectivity. AT&T’s local network switching equipment that routes telephone calls was located in a deep sub-basement of the Towers and somehow survived the collapse of the buildings. None of AT&T’s employees were hurt in the attacks.

Scott Beale
Scott Beale

Scott Beale is the founder of Laughing Squid and is based in New York City. When not running the blog, Scott can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.